Landowner brands decision over traveller site plan ‘nonsensical’

The unsuccessful appeal was put forward after a new traveller site on land at the edge of the city was rejected.  

Following the decision on Friday (July 5), Roger Lethem who owns the land South of Broomhall Way, said: “I think it is a nonsensical decision in light of the adjoining developments enveloping our site and a decision without merit. 

“As such we are looking at options to bring the site forward for a use that has a local substantive humanitarian need. 

“There is an urgent requirement for a Travellers site that the Inspector has not given sufficient weight to within the planning process.”

Mr Lethem’s plan to build the site was first rejected last year by Worcester City Council, despite his claims that travellers already used the site and it was costing him thousands of pounds to mend the fences and clean up the rubbish left behind.

The land in question lies at the tip of the huge ‘urban extension’ which will see more than 2,600 homes built between St Peter’s in the south of Worcester towards Norton and Broomhall.

However, the decision to dismiss the appeal has been welcomed by both Worcester City Council and St Peter’s Parish Council according to the parish council chairman. 

John Renshaw, chairman of St Peter’s Parish Council, said: “We are delighted that the independent Planning Inspectorate agrees with both the city council and the parish council. 

“It’s the outcome we wanted and I’m glad the decision was upheld. 

“In terms of the field, under the Southern Development Plan, it is designated as green space between St Peter’s and the new developments. 

“If this had happened, St Peter’s and the urban extension would have become one big built-up area.

“If this was allowed, then what is to stop other green spaces being developed in the future?”

The Planning Inspectorate said: “The proposal would have unacceptable effects on two counts.

“It would not accord with the spatial strategy for the area, including the urban extension and the Local Green Network (LGN).

“It would also have an unacceptable effect on the character and appearance of the area.

“I have considered all matters that have been raised, but the benefits that would arise would not outweigh the harm caused by the proposal.”

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